News from the Affiliated Community Minister

Belated greetings from your Affiliated Community Minister!

Happy Earth Day!! I hope you will find some meaningful way this week to take at least one action or do one special thing to celebrate and honor Earth. Of course, our creation care needs to become an ongoing spiritual practice and act of faith and not just something we do merely on April 22nd.

My full-time ministry setting is at VA Pittsburgh, where I serve as a clinical staff chaplain covering the medical units and ICU’s at the main hospital in Oakland. I am still relatively new to the role of Affiliated Community Minister at First Church and to community ministry in general. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for how we can learn and grow in this ministry.

As many of you know, for the last 6 months or so I’ve been working with both the Green Sanctuary Team and a small leadership group comprised of key leaders of both the Green Sanctuary Team and Racial Justice Task Force to reflect more on intersectionality and intentionally launching what hopefully will be a multi-year Environmental Justice (EJ) ministry initiative at First beginning next fall. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the recent EJ-focused cottage meetings! The goal is to use your important input from those listening sessions to help craft a statement that will be presented and voted on at the Annual Congregational Meeting on May 22nd. You’ll be hearing much more about that in the next few weeks, so please stay tuned! If you’re curious to learn more about specific aspects of my ministry so far at First, you can read about it in the congregation’s Annual Report.

In the meantime, I wish you joy in the spring blossoms and warmer sunshine.

With gratitude and in active hope,
Rev. Stephanie